searching4sundaySearching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church, Rachel Held Evans, Nelson Books, 2015.

Searching for Sunday is one of the best books I’ve recently read. Rachel Held Evans is one of those Christian writers whom readers are divided on. You either love her or you don’t. Her latest book is no different. Some have gone to great lengths to explain why she has theologically missed the boat, or have longed for more. Others rejoice at this book. They have longed for the honestly that Evans communicates seemingly with ease about the realities of the Church.

I have not read a lot of her writing. I read a couple of her blog posts from time to time. Megan has read more of her books than I have. A friend of mine said how much he enjoyed and appreciated the book.

Rachel Held Evans is not a professor, a clergy person, or a scholar. She is an observer of the Church. She is telling her story, in this case, of searching for a church that is the right fit. She frames her story using the seven Catholic sacraments:

  1. Baptism: the church tells us we are beloved
  2. Confession: the church tells us we are broken
  3. Holy Orders: the church tells us we are commissioned
  4. Communion: the church feeds us
  5. Confirmation: the church welcomes us
  6. Anointing of the Sick: the church anoints us
  7. Marriage: the church unites us

Evans has identified with a generation of church goers – or non-church goers – and their struggle with finding a church. Employing these ancient traditions, Evans reinforces the rising of ancient-modern church. She believes that “a generation that is struggling to make sense of what church is for” is open to finding answers (or more questions) in these ancient practices of the church.

 

That is reassuring.

Evans is honest and open in her writing. She knows that there are those who will disagree with her, but more importantly, she knows that out there are people who identify with her. And at the heart of Evan’s writing is an assurance to ask questions, get and go on a faith journey, and discover a God who is bigger than any one church.

You don’t have to agree with everything that Evans writes, thinks, or tweets to appreciate the depth of storytelling. For it is in the telling of our stories that we encounter healing. This is what Evans is doing, and this is what Evans is encouraging all of us to do.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for a digital review copy.